NY motorcyclist dies on ride protesting helmet law - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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NY motorcyclist dies on ride protesting helmet law

Ironic RIP

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ONONDAGA, N.Y. — A motorcyclist participating in a protest ride against helmet laws went over his handlebars, hit his head on the pavement and was killed, police said Sunday.


The motorcyclist, 55-year-old Philip A. Contos, likely would have survived the accident if he'd been wearing a helmet, state troopers said.

The accident happened Saturday afternoon in Onondaga, a town in central New York near Syracuse.

Contos was driving a 1983 Harley-Davidson on a helmet protest ride organized by the Onondaga chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education, or ABATE, troopers said. The organization states that it encourages the voluntary use of helmets but opposes mandatory helmet laws.

Contos, of Parish, hit his brakes, and his motorcycle fishtailed and went out of control, flipping him over the handlebars, police said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

New York is one of 20 states that require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Lobbying by motorcyclist groups has led some states to repeal helmet laws.

A helmet that meets federal standards reduces the wearer's chances of being killed in an accident by more than 40 percent, said safety consultant Jim Hedlund, of the Governors Highway Safety Association.

"includes 10 used-car dealers or auto repair shops, 11 liquor stores and bars--two of which advertise lingerie fashion shows and a third billed as a "gentlemen's club"--three cut-rate motels and one trailer park. The squat, brick municipal building is next to a currency exchange and a few steps from an adult video store. The bars open at 10 a.m. and close at 6:30 a.m."

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 07:22 PM
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yep irony defined

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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 07:42 PM
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When it comes to wearing gear, ny and nj sportbike riders are the worst. Everyone and their mamma is in wife beaters and shorts.
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 07:56 PM
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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:21 PM
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When it comes to wearing gear, ny and nj sportbike riders are the worst. Everyone and their mamma is in wife beaters and shorts.
It's a Joyzie thing. That state is hazzardous to your health, if the air doesn't kill you, sex with Snooki will.

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:22 PM
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and preventable , RIP.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:27 PM
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There was a time I thought wearing a helmet felt too weird ... now it feels weird to ride without one.

Technically I'm against helmet laws too (do whatever you want to do), but I always wear one. You can't legislate common sense.

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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:43 PM
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Stupid hurts.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 09:55 PM
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Happened in FL also after they repealed their helmet law. Advocate for repealing it died when she crashed her bike helmetless.

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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-03-2011, 10:07 PM
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 01:38 AM
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The thing that bothers me most about this, aside from the fact a rider died of course, is that in this report and in an earlier one I read, the police and the Governors consultant have absolutely no idea what the cause of death for this unfortunate rider was. Neither the police (who were quoted in an earlier report that he would have lived if he had a helmet on) nor the Governors consultant are qualified to make the detrmination that Mr. Contos died from the mishap and because he was not wearing a helmet unless they are qualified Pathologists and performed or were directly involved in performing an autopsy!
For all we know he had a massive heart attack or he could have had a stroke or some other type of incident or injury where a helmet would have made no difference in the outcome. I am not an anti helmet guy, although I am and always have been against helmet laws. I believe in the right of adults to make decisions about their personal safety themselves. AND... For the record, you won't catch me on a motorcycle without a helmet.
So far, all I've seen is speculation and the assumption that this riders death was caused by the mishap. To me, that's typical of the nanny state zealots who will use a story to suit their agenda if they can without actually having facts.
(There's more to this than meets the eye to us in Illinois because of the "new" Governor they have in New York)

AND...speaking of facts...I'd like to see data that backs up the statistic that a DOT helmet will prevent all motorcycle fatalities by over 40%...I assure you this is as bogus as it comes! But it made a great "soundbyte" and impact, didn't it?

Bottom line...Godspeed and Rest In Peace Philip Contos and may God comfort his friends and family at this time of loss.

"Dirt is for racing on...Asphalt is for getting there" OR "Flat trackers go in deeper and come out harder... OR (With apologies to General MaCarthur) "Old motorcycle racers never die, they just slip off the groove and fade into the dust!

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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 01:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTimeBiker View Post
AND...speaking of facts...I'd like to see data that backs up the statistic that a DOT helmet will prevent all motorcycle fatalities by over 40%...I assure you this is as bogus as it comes! But it made a great "soundbyte" and impact, didn't it?
What facts do you have to assure us it's "as bogus as it comes"? I personally don't need data, facts or research to prove to me that a helmet will prevent fatalities by a certain percent. It's common sense and simple physics.

RIP as it's always sad to see someone go, but as was already said, stupid definitely hurts. I always cringe when seeing someone merge onto the highway wearing jeans and a t-shirt with nothing else on, and cringe even more when I see a chick in thongs and a tube top on the back. Simply dumb IMO.

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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 08:42 AM
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Stupid hurts.
More like stupid kills.....

...only for the seriously quick!!!
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 08:53 AM
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Do helmets save lives or don't they? Who want's to be the crash dummy to figure that one out? What I do know is I have a helmet that's all scratched up and gouged due to a mishap I had a few weeks ago. Glad I had it on. Those scratches and gouges could have been my face and I am way to pretty to have to deal with that type of nonsense. And yes, the CT came back with slight bruising on the brain. Additionally, the impact of my helmet/head slamming into the ground caused my jaw to slam shut. I had a chipped tooth on one side and sore jaw hinges (what's the technical term?) on both sides which made it difficult to chew and swallow for a few days. Could it have been worse without the helmet? Who knows. Probably.

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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 10:35 AM
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When I crashed at SR I will never forget hitting the back of my head on the pavement because it made a weird echo sound inside the helmet. Which is a lot better than inside my skull. RIP. But I'll NEVER be without one.
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post #16 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 10:43 AM
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Regardless of our banter, a dude died doing what he loved and believed in

RIP

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post #17 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 11:15 AM
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I never like to hear of any motorcyclists death, ....

Yeah you can choose to not wear a helmet but don't expect the public (me) to defray your astronomical head injury bills to keep you in a vegetative state. The fair solution would be to charge these riders more insurance since they are clearly taking more risk.

I don't like wearing helmets on super hot sticky days but then the penalty is too extreme. That's what convertible cars are for!!

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post #18 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-04-2011, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bug View Post
Regardless of our banter, a dude died doing what he loved and believed in

RIP
Exactly.

The point of my post isn't about helmets at all. I don't need statistics to prove to me that I'm better off wearing a helmet when I ride. My point is that hand wringing, nanny state proponants of helmet laws who think they need to make decisions for you and me about our welfare have seized on this tragedy to espouse statements and rhetoric that supports their position (with the media as a willing partner) without any evidence that anything they're saying is factual. What's the quote?..."let no crisis go to waste.".........Just a variation on the theme.
This rider died from causes that have not been officially released (and likely never will be) while excercisiing his right to express his opinion about an issue he felt very strongly about. Those on the other side of the issue with very easy access to the media used this persons unfortunate death to discredit him and they don't even know with certanty if the incident with his motorcycle is truly the cause of his death. Do you think they'll be just as quick to make statements in the media of apology or condolence or that the media will even report it if it's found this unfortunate rider had a heart attack or stroke?

RIP

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post #19 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 12:00 PM
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I think that in helmet-mandatory states the insurance is cheaper for EVERYONE...

/just saying since im a cheapass

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post #20 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
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I don't like wearing helmets on super hot sticky days but then the penalty is too extreme. That's what convertible cars are for!!
exactly
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTimeBiker View Post
Exactly.

The point of my post isn't about helmets at all. I don't need statistics to prove to me that I'm better off wearing a helmet when I ride. My point is that hand wringing, nanny state proponants of helmet laws who think they need to make decisions for you and me about our welfare have seized on this tragedy to espouse statements and rhetoric that supports their position (with the media as a willing partner) without any evidence that anything they're saying is factual. What's the quote?..."let no crisis go to waste.".........Just a variation on the theme.
This rider died from causes that have not been officially released (and likely never will be) while excercisiing his right to express his opinion about an issue he felt very strongly about. Those on the other side of the issue with very easy access to the media used this persons unfortunate death to discredit him and they don't even know with certanty if the incident with his motorcycle is truly the cause of his death. Do you think they'll be just as quick to make statements in the media of apology or condolence or that the media will even report it if it's found this unfortunate rider had a heart attack or stroke?

RIP
RIP to the rider but what kind of Darwin award winner thinks fighting to NOT protect yourself is something to make a statement and ride about? Fuck free choice in this matter. This is the govmt protecting people from their own stupidity. There should be a nation wide helmet law and treated as strict as a seat belt. Sure they might make an example outta this guy saying he died because of the very cause he was "rebelling" against. But overall its a stupid arguement to even have or make. There is a reason when i crashed state farm wrote me a blank check for my helmet and said "go get a new one, we 100% cover that". I agree with the ins thing, if you wear a lid you should get lower rates. No sense in punishing the people who are smart enough to protect themselves.

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post #21 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 12:30 PM
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i blame the guy using the rear brake instead of not having a helmet
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post #22 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 01:46 PM
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I don't find it ironic at all. I think it just goes to show.

Doesn't look like "risk compenstation" helped in this situation.

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post #23 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldTimeBiker View Post
AND...speaking of facts...I'd like to see data that backs up the statistic that a DOT helmet will prevent all motorcycle fatalities by over 40%...I assure you this is as bogus as it comes!
I have seen several studies and the data that shows it would prevent about 37% of deaths.

The revised trauma score is a scale of 0-12 that ER doctors use to rate your chances of survial after you experiance trauma. Your internal inuries, if bad enough, can certainly kill you. However, they might give you a score that puts you on the edge of surival and a head injury could push you over that edge. That's the point. Reducing trauma. It can't be eliminated. No one thinks helmets will save your life in every situation, but it is a fact that you are better off wearing it.

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post #24 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
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exactly


RIP to the rider but what kind of Darwin award winner thinks fighting to NOT protect yourself is something to make a statement and ride about? Fuck free choice in this matter. This is the govmt protecting people from their own stupidity. There should be a nation wide helmet law and treated as strict as a seat belt. Sure they might make an example outta this guy saying he died because of the very cause he was "rebelling" against. But overall its a stupid arguement to even have or make. There is a reason when i crashed state farm wrote me a blank check for my helmet and said "go get a new one, we 100% cover that". I agree with the ins thing, if you wear a lid you should get lower rates. No sense in punishing the people who are smart enough to protect themselves.
Where do you draw the line? Seriously...if the government can tell you that you must wear a helmet where is the stopping point? If enough legislators in some state or in Washington in the near future decide that as long as motorcycling is so dangerous and we have to protect the riders by mandating helmets what stops them from going further and limiting horsepower to say 20 BHP at the rear wheel? Or...why not go all the way and protect riders completely and declare motorcycles unsafe for our roads and eliminate them altogether?
Do you really believe this hasn't been or isn't under consideration? Are you aware that there have already been attempts to do just those types of things in some states and in Washington?
People rode motorcycles for over 50 years before some safety nazi decided that making them wear helmets would make riding safer...The reality is that yes...in some cases helmets reduced the severity of injuries sustained and likely saved a few lives but how do you explain that when the stats are complete and all factors are brought into play, like number of registrations and per capita motorcycle use, non helmet law states have average fatality rates the same and even lower in some instances than states with a helmet law?
A helmet is not save all with universal results magic device or a magic pill that automatically saves everyone. It's effectiveness has limits...The unfortunate fatalities of some CLSB riders is testament to that.
The issue to the deceased rider was freedom of choice. The freedom to choose whether wearing a helmet was appropriate for him as a citizen living in a free society. You say that it's the governments responsibility to protect the stupid...Who's to say what is or isn't stupid? Do you really want some legislator or bureaucrat making those kind of decisions for you? Among the rights that we as Americans hold dear is the right to self determination and like it or not that extends to the right to be stupid! Who gets to define stupid? It's just as easy to define stupid as riding a motorcycle as it is to define it as riding a motorcycle without a helmet. You can't have it both ways. We either live in a free society or we don't.
I choose to wear a helmet when I ride just as you do. I have also been adamant about opposing mandatory helmet laws. Not because I don't want others to be safe, I do and I work very hard promting helmet and gear use and to preserve and protect the learn to ride program and to promote motorcycle awareness, But ...I don't want government to have the kind of control that allowing them to impose mandatory helemt laws gives them!
Neither did Philip A. Contos, R.I.P.

"Dirt is for racing on...Asphalt is for getting there" OR "Flat trackers go in deeper and come out harder... OR (With apologies to General MaCarthur) "Old motorcycle racers never die, they just slip off the groove and fade into the dust!

If you want to anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal all one must do is tell the truth!

Last edited by OldTimeBiker; 07-05-2011 at 02:55 PM.
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post #25 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 02:56 PM
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post #26 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
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Where do you draw the line? Seriously...if the government can tell you that you must wear a helmet where is the stopping point? If enough legislators in some state or in Washington in the near future decide that as long as motorcycling is so dangerous and we have to protect the riders by mandating helmets what stops them from going further and limiting horsepower to say 20 BHP at the rear wheel? Or...why not go all the way and protect riders completely and declare motorcycles unsafe for our roads and eliminate them altogether?
Do you really believe this hasn't been or isn't under consideration? Are you aware that there have already been attempts to do just those types of things in some states and in Washington?
People rode motorcycles for over 50 years before some safety nazi decided that making them wear helmets would make riding safer...The reality is that yes...in some cases helmets reduced the severity of injuries sustained and likely saved a few lives but how do you explain that when the stats are complete and all factors are brought into play, like number of registrations and per capita motorcycle use, non helmet law states have average fatality rates the same and even lower in some instances than states with a helmet law?
A helmet is not save all with universal results magic device or a magic pill that automatically saves everyone. It's effectiveness has limits...The unfortunate fatalities of some CLSB riders is testament to that.
The issue to the deceased rider was freedom of choice. The freedom to choose whether wearing a helmet was appropriate for him as a citizen living in a free society. You say that it's the governments responsibility to protect the stupid...Who's to say what is or isn't stupid? Do you really want some legislator or bureaucrat making those kind of decisions for you? Among the rights that we as Americans hold dear is the right to self determination and like it or not that extends to the right to be stupid! Who gets to define stupid? It's just as easy to define stupid as riding a motorcycle as it is to define it as riding a motorcycle without a helmet. You can't have it both ways. We either live in a free society or we don't.
I choose to wear a helmet when I ride just as you do. I have also been adamant about opposing mandatory helmet laws. Not because I don't want others to be safe, I do and I work very hard promting helmet and gear use and to preserve and protect the learn to ride program and to promote motorcycle awareness, But ...I don't want government to have the kind of control that allowing them to impose mandatory helemt laws gives them!
Neither did Philip A. Contos, R.I.P.

Its good you're smart enough to gear up. Most people that oppose the helmet law don't wear helmets. No offense to you but this sparks a good discussion. Maybe it's me but you have this big conspiracy theory that the government is gonna stop motorcycles all together. We all know its talk and will never pass no matter how hard people push. And ya know what, the state law states that we HAVE to wear seat belts. Now take that theory and apply it to bikes. They aren't mandating we wear knee pads, or gloves or even a fire suit in a car. They require the bare minimum at a seat belt. And honestly, i always wear mine...its hard to drive without it on. Same goes on a bike, I have never and won't ride without a helmet. So to say the state or nation makes a mandated law requiring the minimum amount of protection for a motorcyclist is a helmet, then it should be that.

This isn't a discussion about if helmets save lives, anybody who has ever thrown an egg at something can clearly see the facts. Helmets and seat belts are there to save lives, so both are a very fair equivalent no? Saying you want to ride for a no helmet law because it "takes away my freedom" is like saying you're gonna go downtown and drive in front of the police station saying "im driving for my freedom NOT to wear my seatbelt".

Have you ever complained about the seat belt laws? I hope so because its exactly what you're saying.

And about the "whats deemed stupid" There is a huge difference between stupid and common sense. Common sense is protecting yourself when you willingly get on a vehicle that has a much higher risk of death or injury than any other vehicle on the road. Is it stupid mfgr's put airbags in a car? or make crumple zone front ends? Maybe steel reinforced doors for side impacts? Should all of those get taken out just because people want to express "freedom"?

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post #27 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 03:59 PM
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^^ This. I always gear up, but it is my choice as it should be.
Do you think seatbelt laws should be abolished too?


Just curious, I see the seatbelt thing as being setup for the LCD here as pretty much everyone in the USA drives a car and that due to the skill and mental proficiency required to operate a motorcycle, people may be smart enough to decide on their own whether they want a helmet or not.


On the opposite side of things, there is a reason we require things like a Drivers License and CDL, it's to keep the road safe for everyone. Should we do away with that too?

How about electrical codes that keep us safe?

Health inspections for restaurants?

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post #28 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 04:17 PM
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Actually I do feel the same about seatbelt laws as I do about helmet laws. If you're over 18 it should be your choice.

That being said I think insurance companies should be able to b*tch slap you with not paying for coverage for not wearing a seatbelt or a helmet.

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post #29 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 04:45 PM
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Where do you draw the line? Seriously...if the government can tell you that you must wear a helmet where is the stopping point?
The domino effect is a bs argument.

And btw, how does killing millions of Jews equate to telling you that you are more safe wearing a helmet??

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post #30 of 42 (permalink) Old 07-05-2011, 05:57 PM
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